Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

I first started hearing about Curiosity Quills Press in 2016, because of its unusual early termination fees. Not that early termination fees themselves are unusual (unfortunately): I see them fairly often in contracts I’m asked to evaluate (and they are always a red flag; here’s why).

What makes CQ’s fees unusual is that they’re part of an annual event. This is outlined on CQ’s website, and also in its contract:

On the surface this may seem like a publisher being flexible and author-friendly–a get-out-of-jail-if-not-exactly-free procedure that authors can follow in a guaranteed and orderly manner. In fact, such provisions often work to the detriment of both authors and publishers–publishers because escape clauses may incentivize early departure, including by authors they’d rather keep; and authors because the costs can be enormous (not to mention unverifiable, if the publisher charges a flat fee or provides no supporting invoices). Plus, publishers can and do abuse termination fees–for instance, by terminating the contracts of writers who’ve pissed them off and demanding the fee even though termination wasn’t the writer’s decision.

Read more here.

Beware of Sharks in Publisher’s Clothing

DO you read The Book Designer? If not, then you should and here is one excellent post why.


Tate Publishing bit the dust and formally closed its doors on January 24, 2017. There are millions of dollars in lawsuits including one from Lightning Source (that’s Ingram) for over $1.8 million. In February, a default judgment was entered against Tate when its owners did a no-show in court. I can’t even imagine the number of authors and books who have been damaged.

Why another column on what I call the Publishing Predators?

  1. The self-publishing / indie publishing avenues now publish far more books than the traditional publishing stream from New York.
  2. Whenever there is growth, it identifies opportunity.
  3. Opportunity encourages darker forces to surface. The floodgates opened for self-publishing went into high drive when Amazon introduced BookSurge, the predecessor of CreateSpace in 2007. Scammers paid attention.
  4. In other words, scammers, publishing cons and publishing predators are breeding.


Continue reading here.

Bills defend consumers’ right to leave bad reviews

Sorry I’ve been neglecting this blog but real life has been keeping me busy. Some days too damn busy. I seem to remember a group of authors and author wannabees yelping in delight when they found any article online about bills or petitions or anything that would curtail the ability of people to leave a critical review.

Here is an article in The Detroit News about just the opposite.


Stacey Jay and the Question No One Has Asked

I’m very, very sick right now so I am just posting a rant without links or screenshots, that will come later.

I am floored by the fact that no one seems to be thinking ahead. If Jay had left her KS up and she had gotten the money, what happens 3 months down the road? She has 14 books listed on GR and it seems they are not paying the bills. What would change in 3 months?

Bibliodaze has posted that Jay admitted to them on Twitter (now deleted) that Princess had sold 13 copies in stores. 13. I’m sure that since the clusterfuck has hit the fan that she has sold a few more but I doubt she is selling enough even after the rush to support “poor, poor Stacey”.

So what happens in 3 months? What changes? Does she think that somehow this newest book will pull her out of the downward spiral? If 14 can’t, I don’t think 15 will either. A nd presumably she would want to continue to write so where does the next three months expenses come from?

Jay has been in the business fulltime for a decade and that is amazing and wondrous and something other Indies would give their blood and kidneys for. But everything changes and she got caught in change. She must have had The Talk with her agent or publisher before all this, I doubt it was a complete surprise.

What did she do to address the issue? It sounds like nothing. And that’s her choice but she isn’t alone in this, she has two kids to think about. It seems that she thought that we  should be feeding them and keeping a roof over their heads. Well, isn’t that what we are doing when we buy her books.

I would love to see where anyone, ANYONE said that she should work for free. She writes a book, we buy a book. THat’s how it generally works. Now Jay wanted to have her expenses up front paid for not by a publishing house but by her readers.  It didn’t happen because she felt those of us who disagreed with her 3 month plan were somehow “vitriolic” or “bullying” or “tearing her apart”.

Bull… feathers.

What would happen in three months? Would she ask for another $10,500 for the next book? When would it end? And it would be of no benefit to Jay and her kids, somewhere she has to find a more stable source of income because, I am telling you and you know it’s true, that sooner rather than later people would tire of supporting a seemingly able-bodied woman just because she feels that working and working at writing are not compatible.

I realize that after 10 years going back into the workforce is scary, it’s damn scary at any time but putting it off and asking people who might be struggling themselves to keep you going is not a viable plan.

All those who are vilifying others for not jumping on the Jay bandwagon should be ashamed of themselves, no one here would let her kids starve. No one here would refuse to help an author in trouble.

But you must ask the question, what would have happened in three months?

Book Industry Charitable Foundation

Do you know BInC? A recent survey indicates you probably don’t. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation had an amazing collection of services to support booksellers, their employees, and their families when catastrophes occur. From illness, eviction, and natural disasters to scholarship programs BInC stands ready to lend their support.

Maggie Spence Is Totally CrayCray

Never say I don’t bring you the best in entertainment.




Author Maggie Spence just called me and is now going to give my phone number to all who will listen. Because I am the source of all her problems here.


Evidently at loooong last I HAZ THE POWER!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!


Now go forth my minions (all 3 of you) and, you know, read a book or something.


God in heaven.”